OVEN BAKED CHICKEN PILAU
I’m not at all sure where I stumbled upon this recipe. This is my go-to meal whenever I’m not feeling particularly adventurous but want something tasty and filling. This is such an easy weeknight dinner to throw together and forget about whilst you get on with something else – but it’s also delicious and a crowd pleaser. I’ve served this a few times when we’ve had unexpected dinner guests and they’ve always seemed satisfied, so today I’m sharing this no-fuss spicy dish with you.
CHOP THAT ONION
This is pretty much all the prep necessary for this recipe, how sweet is that?! Do it before you start cooking or do it whilst your chicken is browning – it’s up to you really. Roughly diced will do just fine.
BROWN THE CHICKEN
Heat around 2Tbsp of oil in your oven friendly pot (with a lid!) on medium to high heat. I usually sprinkle a little salt over the chicken pieces before placing them in the oil. You want to keep an eye on what’s going on at this point and keep moving the pieces around in the pot. It’ll probably take around 10 – 12 minutes for the skins to get nice and golden brown.
TIP IN THE ONION
It’s time to put all that time consuming prep work to good use – throw in the diced onion and give it a few good stirs, keep cooking till it’s nicely softened.
Add your spices and garlic to the mix and try to give the chicken pieces a nice coating of deliciousness. Your kitchen should start to smell really good round about now! Keep cooking this for a couple of minutes – really get that flavour in there.
Throw in your rice. Usually I rinse my basmati but with this recipe I adopt a fully hassle free approach and don’t bother. Give everything a good stir, get some colour going on the rice and don’t panic – that popping rice sound just means it’s happy. You don’t need to linger on this step for too long at all.
ADD YOUR CHICKEN STOCK
Add your chicken stock to the pot and hear that beautiful sizzle. Give it all a nice stir and try to make sure that there isn’t too much goodness stuck to the bottom of your pot.
I usually use frozen peas or mixed veg, what I do is leave it resting covered in warm-ish water till I’m ready for it. I pour off any excess water before adding it to the mix. You could defrost your veg in the microwave a little before using it, but don’t overdo it or you’ll have mush – remember this still has to go into the oven for quite a while.
READY FOR THE OVEN
Give everything a final mix, if you used unsalted or not particularly salty stock feel free to add salt at this point. Bring to a strong boil before turning off the heat, covering the pot and popping it into the oven for 40 minutes.
Once the 40 minutes is up, all the liquid should be absorbed and dinner is almost ready to serve. Use a fork to fluff up the rice, add any extras (I love adding sultanas) and try to mix them through evenly. Leave to cool for a few minutes.
DINNER IS SERVED
Dish up straight out of the pot at your dinner table or transfer to a pretty serving dish. Most importantly – enjoy!
If you give this recipe a go, feel free to leave your feedback in the comments section below. I’d love to hear if you added any interesting extras into the mix.
- 6 - 8 Chicken pieces on the bone (I use a mix of drumsticks and thighs)
- 1 large Onion (roughly diced)
- 1 tsp crushed Garlic
- 3 tsp Jeera (Cumin seeds)
- 1 - 2 tsp Biryani masala or your favourite spice blend
- 1 tsp Chili powder
- 400g Rice (I use basmati)
- 800ml Chicken Stock
- 1 cup peas (or mixed veg)
- Extras: Sultanas, Cashews or Almonds.
- Pre-heat oven to 180C/350F
- Heat about 2Tbsp of oil in a large oven friendly pot
- Cook chicken pieces till skins are golden brown
- Tip in onion and cook till softened
- Stir in garlic and spices, cook 2 - 3 mins
- Stir in rice and then pour in stock
- Stir in peas or veggies
- Bring to a strong boil
- Add salt if necessary (if your stock wasn't salty)
- Cover and bake for 40mins (all liquid should be absorbed)
- Fluff rice with a fork and stir in any extras before serving